Maria Thundu
MALAWI
Maria Thundu is a self-taught photographer from Malawi, who specializes in weddings and modern, lifestyle portraits. What began as a labor of love has seen Maria quickly become one of Malawi´s most sought-after photographers for her candid style, which captures the essence of the subject, allowing them to be comfortable in front of the camera and to be themselves, often forgetting that they are being documented. She believes that creativity and passion for what you do are at the core of being successful. She values working closely with her clients, who often become friends. Throughout her work, emotions are prevalent. Maria shoots thoughtfully and captures moments and situations that are often overlooked for the bigger picture. Her goal is to make lasting images that can take a viewer back to that specific space and time. Maria has also worked on humanitarian photography projects with UNESCO, UNWomen, Standard Bank, The Hunger Project, LSPCA, among others. Prior to changing her career to photography, Maria worked as a content creator and copy editor for various organizations in countries such as Ethiopia, Thailand and USA such as UNECA, UNEP, and ECPAT International. Maria plans to teach photography skills to groups including underprivileged students as well as to communication and media staff for companies.
From this Moment
A wedding day is a period of high emotions: anticipation, excitement and anxiety. For the photographer, there is a lot of waiting – not rushing people, not getting in the way – but observing while you wait, paying attention to the interactions. There is always something happening through all the tension, joy, tears and prayer. The natural and true moments far outweigh the ´shots of the day´, or the hip, edgy or unique poses that we sometimes spend too much time focusing on. A simple black and white image of a real moment will be even more meaningful years down the line than anything flashy or trendy. Making lasting images. My goal.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.